Dr Thorvardur Halfdanarson: Access Is a Big Management Challenge in NETs

Thorvardur Halfdanarson, MD, associate professor of medicine and consultant in medical oncology, Mayo Clinic, outlines the biggest management challenges in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).


What are the biggest management challenges in neuroendocrine tumors?
One of the bigger management challenges is access to care and access to specialists, ad that doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be managed by a NET specialist, because they absolutely don’t. But, I think all NET patients should at least be given the option of visiting with a NET specialist just to discuss the natural history of the disease and to discuss treatments that might be available, and I think also, at the time of progression, we should really try to get these patients to see a NET specialist to discuss the different treatment options out there, including clinical trials.

So, I think access to NET specialists, because there are not that many of them, is still an issue. Insurance is an issue for some agents, high copayments for certain agents. We have to see how things play out with PRRT [peptide receptor radionuclide therapy] and insurance reimbursement. But, that would be access and the financial toxicity or direct cost to the patient would be the things on the top of my mind.
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